In Public School Reform, What Can Private Money Buy?

Helen Zelon:

Bill Gates has donated more than $5 billion to improve U.S. schools. But he sees little bang for all those bucks. What do other philanthropists–and the school systems who’ve benefited from them–think they have to show for what’s been spent?
Two months ago, Bill Gates told the Wall Street Journal that private money–including upwards of $5 billion in Gates foundation funding–“didn’t move the needle much,” in terms of substantial, measurable improvements in student achievement and graduation outcomes.
“It’s hard to improve public education–that’s clear,” Gates said. “If you’re picking stocks, you wouldn’t pick this one.”